CITATION: Message to world leaders: we cannot end tuberculosis without addressing the social and economic burden of the disease
Priya B Shete, Michael Reid, Eric Goosby
Open AccessPublished:September 14, 2018DOI:

‘Tuberculosis is fundamentally a disease of poverty; being poor increases the risk of falling sick with tuberculosis. Falling sick with tuberculosis also leads to impoverishment that can trigger a downward spiral of worsening health, ongoing tuberculosis transmission, crippling medical expenses, which further entrench poverty. Because of these realities, purely biomedical or public health solutions are not enough to end the tuberculosis epidemic; countries must implement social policy strategies that can protect tuberculosis sufferers from the financial shocks of this deadly disease…’

Comment (Neil PW): Indeed, tuberculosis like many diseases is related to poverty. But death from tuberculosis, as with many diseases, is related to the availability or otherwise to effective health care (which is of course also related to socioeconomic status). A study in India, for example, found that more than 9 in 10 prescriptions for tuberculosis in India are incorrect, predisposing those patients and the general population to multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis in the future. Mishra G et al. Tuberculosis Prescription Practices In Private And Public Sector In India. National Journal of Integrated Research in Medicine 2013; 4(2): 71-78. It is vital to ensure that health professionals are empowered to deliver the care for which they are trained.

Best wishes, Neil

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